Those of us who have traveled on a budget are all too familiar with hostel pubs: those rowdy, often ramshackle establishments brimming with boozy backpackers from every corner of the globe. And while those watering holes are frequently fantastic for making friends from new locales, they aren't usually known for the quality of their drinks, or their atmosphere, and especially not for their appeal to locals. In fact, most well rooted residents steer completely clear of their city's backpacker bars, dismissing them as dingy dives only suitable for tourists.

Amir Avram and Adam Gottschalk are hoping to change that perception with their new venue. The burgeoning food and beverage duo have had considerable success after opening their Ron Mexico bar in Andingmen this year. And while that spot caters locals, the pair are taking a completely opposite approach with Sidd Finch's Pub, their new Dashilar bar. The only similarity between the two venues is their penchant for funny sports related monikers (Sidd Finch being the notorious fictional subject of a Sports Illustrated April Fools' Day article by author George Plimpton, while Ron Mexico is a more off-color reference that you can read all about here). Aside from that, Sidd Finch's sets itself apart by aiming to give backpackers a higher quality experience than many of the venues on the hostel circuit.

Instead of the watered down mixed drinks and generic brewskies served at backpacker establishments the world over, Avram and Gottschalk plan to dole out craft beers, mid-range cocktails and other more creative beverages (though cheap beers will also still be on hand, for any travelers that are especially eager to pinch their pennies). Better still is the atmosphere, from the tasteful wood grain finish of the bar, to the airy adjacent hutong style courtyard, which is part of the longstanding and well reputed Qianmen Hostel, the owners of which have partnered with Sidd Finch's so that their guests have a fun place celebrate after a day of sightseeing.

Another draw will likely be the pub's potential forthcoming collaborations with tour guides like Jeremiah Jenne and Garth Wilson which can use Sidd Finch's as a meeting point or a way to cap off their itinerary after visiting the nearby Forbidden City, and more unconventional adjacent spots like the Niujie Muslim quarter, and many underrated authentic Peking duck joints, not to mention Dashilar itself. The owners hope those elements will make Sidd Finch's a prime destination not only for backpackers, but also locals hosting guests that are weary of the same old touristy itineraries.

The bar is still finishing up construction, but should be open for business on August 1 (we will update this blog with details before then).

Sidd Finch's Pub
Daily 4pm-late. 33 Meishi Jie (Near Dazhalan Xijie), Xicheng District (6313 2369)
西城区前门煤市街33号

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Photo: Kyle Mullin


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